Infiniti Considers BMW 4 Series Competitor
Japanese luxury automaker Infiniti has revealed plans to expand its lineup by launching a competitor for the BMW 4 Series. Speaking to Top Gear at the opening of the company’s new automotive design facility in London, Infiniti chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura confirmed the manufacturer will introduce a brand-new two-door coupe by 2015. The new vehicle will be slightly larger than a BMW 4 Series, but smaller than the 6 Series, Nakamura added, hinting that the coupe could be a two-door version of the Infiniti Q50.
"I want to make a two-door coupe. It’s coming, you’ll see it within one year. It’ll be a production version," the representative told Top Gear. Asked whether this 4 Series competitor will spawn a rival for the high-performance M4, Nakamura admitted such a vehicle is also being considered, but it all depends on whether or not the Q50 Eau Rouge is approved for production. That’s right folks, the GT-R powered Eau Rouge could hit the street in coupe guise as well, but that might not happen very soon.
"We are still working on the Q50 Eau Rouge, and we don’t want to give up on that, but the business case is not that easy," Nakamura continued. Well, that’s not exactly confirmation, but as long as the Eau Rouge is still on the cards, we have reasons to hope the BMW M4 is getting yet another friend to play with.
Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti’s future BMW 4 Series competitor.
Why it matters
Infiniti has made tremendous progress the past few years, especially under Johann de Nysschen’s leadership. With the latter appointed as Cadillac’s global president starting August 1st, 2014, there have been growing concerns whether Infiniti will be able to build on its momentum. Nakamura’s statement comes to confirm the Japanese automaker is looking to take things beyond the large Q80 sedan that’s about to break cover at the Paris Motor Show as a concept and build on de Nysschen’s successful campaign.
Now that a large, luxury sedan is already underway, the next step is to add yet another vehicle that will give the Germans a run for their money. A 4 Series competitor seems to be the appropriate choice, despite the fact that a Q50-like coupe will be slightly bigger in size.
Named after the famed corner of the Spa Francorchamps track in Belgium, the Q50 Eau Rouge is Infiniti’s idea for a high-performance sedan that blends Nissan GT-R power with Formula One, luxury, and a comfortable ride. Although based on the regular Q50, the Eau Rouge showcases an aerodynamic body kit and numerous carbon-fiber components that set it apart from its bland brother.
The Eau Rouge’s engine bay will be fitted with the exact same powerplant found in the Nissan GT-R. That’s a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 unit rated 560 horsepower, just about enough to push the sedan from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds. Although it will retain the supercar’s all-wheel-drive system, the beefed-up Q50 will get a seven-speed automatic instead of the GT-R’s dual-clutch transmission. Infiniti has yet to approve the Eau Rouge for production, but it’s likely the high-performance sedan will arrive in dealerships as a low-volume vehicle over the next two years.